The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority has been awarded the Promising New Destination Accolade at the just ended Outbound Travel Mark (OTM) in Mumbai, India.
The travel fair attracted over 750 exhibitors from 34 countries and 24 states from all over India. OTM is a platform for the travel and tourism industry to reach out to the travel trade, business and potential tourists. It was indeed a great honor for Zimbabwe to win this prestigious award at its first appearance.
Other African countries present at OTM were Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, and Seychelles. Zimbabwe received overwhelming and positive response at the stand from high profile Indian Operators. A keen interest has been shown by Destination Marketing Companies (DMCs) that wish to represent Zimbabwe in the fast growing Indian market.
Zimbabwe’s thrust at the fair has been the promotion of Zimbabwe A world of Wonders as a prime tourist destination and its winning the bid to co-host the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) 2013 General Assembly. The team engaged the trade and extended invitations for the players to attend the 2012 edition of Sanganai as buyers and sample the Zimbabwe unique tourism product.
There has also been great demand for partnerships between the Indian Tour Operators and the Zimbabwean inbound tour operators to develop the best suitable tour packages to cater to the Indian Market.
The major constraint faced by the Indian market is the prohibitive visa regime which needs serious review if Zimbabwe is to realise the true potential presented by this huge market. This was the greatest concern expressed by not only the Indian Tour Operators but the general public. On average the Zimbabwe visa process is taking between 3 weeks to 2 months. This has negatively affected tourists arrivals to Zimbabwe.
The Zimbabwe delegation proceeds to New Delhi on the second leg of the Indian visit to participate at the Tourism Travel Fair (TTF) that commences 24 to 26 February 2012. The team being led by the Chief Executive of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority has made significant inroads into this market. “Zimbabwe has come late into this market but there is no going back. The country is bound to benefit from the second fastest growing economy in the world with a middle class of over 500 million that has disposable income and a high propensity to travel.” he said.